Review: Canon’s new super telephoto lens cases

Canon Rumors Guy

Canon EOS 40D
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  • Jul 20, 2010
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    Canon is shipping their latest super telephoto lenses in a new soft shell case instead of the standard hard trunk we’ve been used to for as long as I can remember. We missed this bit of information during the announcements of the EF 400mm f/2.8L IS III and EF 600mm f/4L IS III. We’re actually quite happy to see this.
    Nikon uses soft cases with some of their super telephoto lenses like the 200-400mm f/4 and the 300mm f/2.8. They may be doing it with more big lenses, but I haven’t purchased any since the days of owning Lens Rentals Canada.
    Whenever I’ve received a new super telephoto lens, I would almost immediately stick the trunk in the dungeon and put my new lens into a...

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    neuroanatomist

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    Jul 21, 2010
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    It would be great if the savings passes to the consumer. The 600mm II's case is $600.00.
    Clearly it’s not that expensive to produce, probably something like $20, just as many of the lens hoods probably cost <$1 to make but sell for $40-50. I’m glad I wasn’t sipping coffee when I read your statement about passing the savings along to us.

    I’m with Craig on this, the hard case for my 600 II went up to the attic on the day I unpacked the lens, and it’s been there ever since. I keep it only because I know it’ll be expected if I ever sell the lens. For home storage, the lens is in a large Storm (Pelican) case with several other lenses, and when taking it out it’s in a Lowepro Lens Trekker 600 II AW.

    Looking at Bryan’s review of the cases, they’re softer but no better – it seems there’s not enough room in the case to have a camera mounted to the lens, so if I buy a new supertele with one of those it would end up in the attic alongside the 600’s hard case.
     
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    Canon Rumors Guy

    Canon EOS 40D
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  • Jul 20, 2010
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    Clearly it’s not that expensive to produce, probably something like $20, just as many of the lens hoods probably cost <$1 to make but sell for $40-50. I’m glad I wasn’t sipping coffee when I read your statement about passing the savings along to us.

    I’m with Craig on this, the hard case for my 600 II went up to the attic on the day I unpacked the lens, and it’s been there ever since. I keep it only because I know it’ll be expected if I ever sell the lens. For home storage, the lens is in a large Storm (Pelican) case with several other lenses, and when taking it out it’s in a Lowepro Lens Trekker 600 II AW.

    Looking at Bryan’s review of the cases, they’re softer but no better – it seems there’s not enough room in the case to have a camera mounted to the lens, so if I buy a new supertele with one of those it would end up in the attic alongside the 600’s hard case.

    That's why I like the Lightware bags, there's a pocket in the lid for a camera body, or you can just leave the camera mounted to the lens.
     
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    The two things that I thought canon miffed on were not at least putting wheels and a handle on the hard case.

    The other is not making the lens mount handle arca Swiss compatible, thus reducing the need for a third party solution.

    The only time I’ve used hard cases was to ship lenses for firmware updates or service
     
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    neuroanatomist

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    That's why I like the Lightware bags, there's a pocket in the lid for a camera body, or you can just leave the camera mounted to the lens.
    No separate pocket on the Lowepro lid, but sufficient room in the bag for the 600 with a 2x TC and 1-series body mounted. I often carry both TC‘s in a lens case attached to the side of the bag,

    I was miffed when Lowepro redid their lens case sizes – the 1W fit almost all the standard size L lenses (24-70, 17/24 TS-E, 16-35, 35/85 primes, etc.) and the 1N was specifically designed to hold both TC’s and even came with a small padded disk to put between them. Unfortunately, with their new sizing they do not have anything like either of those two cases (but fortunately for me, I have two of the 1W and a 1N).
     
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    Jack Douglas

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    My 400 with or without converters stays on the camera most of the time unless I'm not shooting long. When I travel it's in a case long enough to have the X2 mounted with the 1DX2 and I would never want it otherwise, for quick availability. I liked the hard case for shipping only.

    Their useless tripod mount is always replaced since the replacement makes a great handle (except for slightly sharp corners). I tried to persuade a manufacturer to make an Arca Swiss slip on rubber but no bites. That handle with the camera tucked into the crook of one's arm is great for hiking, sometimes cradling the gear or sometimes holding it in mid air if jumping obstacles (400 DO II is light/small enough). Not sure what I would do with 500 or 600.:(

    The new case would see limited/no use for me.

    Jack
     
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    eosuser1234

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    Transporting a heavy lens while mounted on a DSLR is not recommended. You have the possibility to rip the bayonet off of your DSLR. Ask any professional ski or snowboard photography who has to ride down the mountain after shooting something with a 70-200 2.8. You always dis engage the lens first before packing up and riding down.
     
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    Jack Douglas

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    Transporting a heavy lens while mounted on a DSLR is not recommended. You have the possibility to rip the bayonet off of your DSLR. Ask any professional ski or snowboard photography who has to ride down the mountain after shooting something with a 70-200 2.8. You always dis engage the lens first before packing up and riding down.

    It's very much dependent on the way the lens/camera is supported within the bag and not necessarily unsafe. As far as ripping a lens off a camera, that would assume the camera is being carried with the lens hanging unsupported. With the "big" lenses the lens is carried and the camera resides rather safely on the lens. I can only speak for myself with the 300 2.8 and 400 DO and I'm not involved with ski photography.

    Jack
     
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    degos

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    Clearly it’s not that expensive to produce, probably something like $20, just as many of the lens hoods probably cost <$1 to make but sell for $40-50.

    Yes for the price Canon asks for the Big Whites they could well afford to provide a waterproof & fireproof case instead of that useless plastic hunk. At least then people would have a reason to use them.
     
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    Hector1970

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    Mar 22, 2012
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    I never really made use of mine. Maybe they were designed to be sat upon by sports photographers.
    I"ve my 600mm in a Vanguard Bag and it has a sort of collar padded divider to go around the back of the 600mm and the camera so it supports it quite well.
    I wouldn't be skiing down a mountain with a 600mm but am quite happy to let is connected to the camera in that bag. Its well protected (if a bit long).
    The hard cases would have been better with wheels and an extendable handle. As they are they are as good as useless and take up space.
    The 300mm II is a lot easier to bring around in normal bags and much lighter too.
    Canon designed the soft bags just to be able to transport them carefully to the customer. Its a pity you can't find a camera to them and still fit them in but Canon wouldn't see that as their problem.
    The 600mm II is like an aircraft carrier it needs a whole load of supporting items to keep it going. Its a pity the foot isn't Swiss Arca compatible. I've a long Swiss Arca plate on it whose edges are sharpish. A gimbal head is another additional accessory I wouldn't normally have required and of course the bag to hold it.
    Still the 600mm II and 300 2.8 II work like a dream and are worth all the extra effort of carting them around.
     
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